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Performance Management and Measuring

Performance and it's control in an advanced project is a cumbersome activity and especially to overcome the difficulties associated with measuring performance & it's success. The key is to focus on the important and basic aspects of any project, Namely: 

1) Timescale
2) Resource
3) Quality
4) Scope

 Also, Project manager has to focus on the performance analysis to enable a better management of the project.

Timescale: Timescale is obviously an important aspect and requires a special perspective to manage it better in advanced projects. Project manager has to understand what lies beneath the timing and not just timing as advanced projects deal with difficult and most advanced tasks to be accomplished. The general direction of the final goal to be achieved keep changing while progressing through the project which makes it more complex. 

As shown in the above figure lack of certainty at the start of the project gradually improves as the project progress. Project managers should focus on what could be delivered during this timescale instead of assessing what is to be delivered. This method is called as risk-based method, in which one should focus on progress and understand the end deliverable while reporting. Also, we can use detailed level requirements against time to achieve this. 

Resource: Resources are generally represented in two different ways and both of them should be included into performance measurement:

1) Funds used to buy goods 
2) People who perform activities or services.

Quite often organizations will possess a system or tool to deal with their resources effectively or one should build one to monitor and measure the performance of the resources. Earned value analysis technique helps to measure the ongoing value of the project progress. The two important terms used to explain this technique are Baseline cost of the work performed (BCWP) and Actual cost of the work performed (ACWP). The difference between these two costs shall result in variance and if this variance is positive then the plan is ahead of schedule and vice-versa.  

Project manager should enable the work package manager to maintain such graph to make sure this technique gets implemented. Remember you should not be too harsh while defining the boundaries as they may keep changing the as the time/project progress. 

Quality: Often measuring quality in advanced projects shall be a difficult task and it is easier to explain the customers that the organization is quality approved to standard than how to measure quality. Measuring quality performance doesn't need to be difficult task and can be simplified either by using the many available commonly used standards of other companies/organizations or define some simple quality checkpoints within the system. The obvious checkpoints can be used along with time periodically are:

1) Macro plan complete
2) Detailed plan complete
3) At each Major milestone
4) Conclusion of the Project

Sometimes you may lose the direction while assessing the quality and related matters. So the review must be based on facts such as systems in place, deliverables and staff. Spend some time to assess the issues before conducting a meeting by which the meeting will be likely to turn productive.

Scope: Scope can take shape into two forms one is current scope and the other is aspirational scope. Current scope include set of DLR's (detailed level requirements) and HLR's (High Level Requirements) and measuring the current scope, refers to measuring the success of the delivering the content of the DLR's and HLR's, should not confused whether they will be delivered on time. Aspirational scope is adding new features and elements to the project life cycle which are beyond the baseline scope and it will measured in the similar fashion of baseline scope.

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